Pioneering a new imaging technology is far more complicated than plugging it in and scanning patients. At the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, implementing the Siemens Biograph mMR hybrid PET/MR system requires the radiologists to develop the protocols.
"It's a very new piece of equipment," said Pamela Woodard, MD, of the Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR), Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine. "It's not like a CT scanner that everyone has been using for 35 years and you just start scanning."
Washington University School of Medicine is only the third site in the U.S. to have this equipment, with two other sites set to come online soon. Siemens received FDA 510(k) clearance in June 2011 for the Biograph mMR, the first system to allow for simultaneous whole-body scanning by MR and PET.
And despite the start-up challenges, the lower dose and the simultaneous scans provide some major benefits for patients, according to Woodard. In this podcast, Woodard explains how this technology is being used, why her institution became an early adopter, and what they've learned so far.